The Scientific Research Institute for Jet Propulsion (RNII), today known as JSC “Keldysh Research Center”
was founded on October 31, 1933, by the Decree № 104 of the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR.
The RNII was established on the basis of the Gas Dynamic Laboratory (GDL), in Leningrad, and the Moscow-based Group for the Study of Jet Propulsion (GIRD). Ivan Terentyevich Kleymenov, Chief of the GDL, 1st rank military engineer, was appointed Head of the Institute. Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, Chief of the GIRD, was appointed Deputy Head of the Institute.
The RNII became Research & Development Enterprise over a short period of time that combined design, manufacturing and testing of rockets, rocket missiles, flight vehicles and engines for them, as well as scientific research that ensured the creation of rocketry.
The creation of missile weapons for our army was the main task prior war and during war periods in the Institute History
The development works on high explosive jet projectiles intended for air, sea and terrestrial targets were completed at the Institute in the period between 1933 and 1940, and entered service with the Army afterwards. Application of powder rocket missiles for area shooting from ground-based multiple rocket launchers was especially effective. Such a launch system BM-13 entered service with the Army and became a legendary rocket launcher Katyusha that played an important role in the Great Patriotic War. The Institute Staff was awarded with the Order of the Red Star in 1942 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the successful development of a new kind of the weapon. The designers of weapon were awarded with the Stalin Prize. Andrey Grigoryevich Kostikov, Head of Weapon Development, was awarded with the Title of Hero of Socialist Labour.
The Institute Staff played a leading role in the national rocketry. That is the development of the first generation rockets, rocket engines and rocket missiles, testing methods and specialists` education in the field of rocketry. From the moment of establishment of the Institute, some outstanding scientists and designers such as S.P. Korolev, V.P. Glushko, Y.A. Pobedonostsev, M.K. Tikhonravov, I.T. Kleymenov and G.E. Langemak worked there. Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was an honorary member of the RNII Technical Council.
The creation of a liquid rocket engine (LRE) for a fighter interceptor, the development of new models of rocket missiles for artillery and jet torpedoes for the Soviet Navy, design, manufacturing and testing of the first LRE in the USSR with a turbo pump system for fuel feed, the manufacturing and testing of the first national turbojet engine were realized at the Institute during a war period of time.
Highly qualified professionals such as S.P. Korolev, V.P. Glushko, N.A. Pilyugin, V.P. Mishin, A.M. Lyulka, M.M. Bondaryuk, A.M. Isaev, L.S. Dushkin and B.V. Rauschenbach worked at the “Rocket Institute”. Hundreds of talented specialists brought glory to national rocket & space science and technology in subsequent years. G.I. Petrov, V.Y. Likhushin, A.P. Vanichev, V.M. Ievlev, V.S. Avduevsky, N.A. Anfimov and many others worked at the Institute in post-war period. More than 30 specialists became members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
Keldysh Research Center is proud of people whose names became famous all over the world.more
Some leading organizations
The Institute became a founder of some leading organizations in the field of national rocket & space technology. Here they are:
1944 – Branch Office for the Development of Solid Propellant Rocket Motors (SRMs) headed by Yu.P. Pobedonostsev (now Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology)
1946 - The Saturn Engineering Design Bureau for the Development of Turbo Jet Engine headed by A.M. Lyulka
- 1946 - Engineering Design Bureau of the factory № 293 headed by M.R. Bisnovat (now the Fakel Engineering Design Bureau)
1948 - KhimMash Design Bureau for the Development of Liquid Rocket Engine headed by A.M. Isaev
1950 – Engineering Design Bureau 670 for the Development of Ramjet Engines headed by M.M. Bondaryuk
1952 – Engineering Design Bureau 1 of the NII-1 for the Development of Liquid Rocket Engine headed by L.S. Dushkin
1954 – Branch Office for the Development of Cruise Missile Celestial Navigation headed by R.G. Chachikyan (now Moscow Institute for Electromechanics and Automatics)
1958 – Branch Office for the Development of low-thrust LREs headed by M.G. Mironov (now FSUE NIIMash)
The Institute employees headed by P.I. Fedorov, Chief of the Institute, Major General, together with our attacking troops broke through the Blizna German missile firing territory and successfully performed the Chief Commander’s and the Country’s Leadership task regarding to assessment of German development in the field of rocketry. They properly examined German machines and documentation. Then, they stated proposals relating to the development of works in our country.
The Ministry of Armament became the Leading Ministry for the Development and Production of Ballistic Missiles with LREs after the Decree of Council of Ministers of the USSR “Issues of Jet Weapons” on May 13, 1946. It was a new stage of activity for the NII-1 that was a part of the Ministry of Aviation Industry that time.
Academician M.V. Keldysh was appointed Head of the Institute at the age of 35 years in 1946.
M.V. Keldysh started working with outstanding scientists such as G.I. Petrov, L.I. Sedov, G.N. Abramovich, A.P. Vanichev, E.S. Shchetinkov and others. Basic and applied scientific research in the field of thermodynamics, aero gas dynamics, combustion theory and heat exchange were conducted under their supervision. Design methods, LREs and supersonic ramjet testing begun to be developed. Investigations that allowed solving problems of aircraft thermal control and heat shield were made as well.
Two historical Decrees of the Government of the USSR were issued in 1954 relating to the development of the R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile in S.P. Korolev`s Design Bureau, the development of the Burya intercontinental cruise missile in S.A. Lavochkin`s Design Bureau and the Buran intercontinental cruise missile in V.M. Myasishchev`s Design Bureau.
Employees of the Institute successfully completed a state task and made a contribution to the creation of the R-7 World`s first intercontinental ballistic missile and a powerful launch vehicle based on it. The modifications of them are still in operation.
According to the Governmental Decree, all scientific research on the development of cruise missiles were under the supervision of the NII-1, particularly, under the responsibility of M.V. Keldysh.
According to the Governmental Decree, all scientific research on the development of cruise missiles were under the supervision of the NII-1, particularly, under the responsibility of M.V. Keldysh. New divisions and unique test facilities were created for performance of works on cruise missile project. Flight development tests of the Burya cruise missile were successfully carried out during 1957-1959. Thus, both separate systems and the entire rocket complex proved the data accomplishment included in technical requirements.
Works on cruise missile dynamics allowed solving new problems in terms of spacecraft control. The attitude control system intended for the Luna-3 Automatic Station was designed and developed in the NII-1 under the supervision of B.V. Raushenbakh. It took a photo of the far side of the Moon on October 7, 1959. Besides, the attitude control system for artificial satellites was developed.
A significant progress was achieved in works on staged combustion cycle LRE (closed cycle). Integrated tests of such LREs were carried out in A.P. Vanichev’s laboratory in 1959. Thus, engine performance, opportunity to reach high pressure in the combustion chamber and, as a result, a significant increase in specific impulse were confirmed during the tests. This research initiated a widespread development of works on production of staged combustion LREs in all national Propulsion Design Bureaus. Nowadays, the advantages of such staged combustion engines are widely recognized. Moreover, the best proof of it is that the USA used the RD-180 engines in the Atlas missile. Those engines were designed at NPO Energomash.
A series of new problems such as a fuel mixture or control system stabilization occurred because of the transition to staged combustion cycle LRE. However, they were successfully solved in the process of collaborative works with Design Bureaus. Works on LRE dynamics and the longitudinal stability of missiles allowed solving complicated tasks such as underwater launch of LRE, launch in conditions of mortar launch, engine-missile system stability.
The Scientific Research Institute of Thermal Processes
In the period of 1965-1991, the main works on missile and rocket & space complexes for military, economic and scientific usage in our country were carried out in the specialized Ministry for General Machine Building. This made it possible to ensure a new level of development for missiles and rocket & space complexes of different purpose. The Institute became the leading Scientific Research Establishment in the field of rocket engine manufacturing and was renamed the Scientific Research Institute of Thermal Processes (NIITP). The Institute was authorized to realize important works on the development of highly advanced LREs, SRMs and aerojet engines, new propellants, creation of highly efficient onboard power systems, nuclear power propulsion complexes and some other systems.
The research works on SRMs were resumed in latter half of the 1960s and ensured elaboration of best design concept for large sustainer engines, variety of solid propellants, heat-protective and erosion-resistant materials. Methods of creating nozzles of large expansion ratio, SRMs heat exchange and thermal protection calculation methods were developed and used in the Design Bureau. New concepts of highly efficient SRMs for substantial increase of a specific impulse were proposed.
In 1975, Keldysh Research Centre was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for services in the development of rocketry.